Dance Stories - why Join The Circle's Dementia friendly dance sessions are more than just 'moving and grooving'!

Dance Stories - why Join The Circle's Dementia friendly dance sessions are more than just 'moving and grooving'!

We all know I’m biased when it comes to Join The Circle dance sessions, I really love what I do! But to be fair…it would be different if my participants didn’t love it too! And most of them, if I’m honest, don’t come for the workout.

Most of my participants come because it’s an activity that promotes their social well-being.

But obviously, they don’t call it that. They call it having a chat.

I thought I’d share some of their stories with you…

What makes a care home, a home?

What makes a care home, a home?

I’ve visited so many care homes over the last few years, but not all, if I’m honest, have felt like real homes. There is SO MUCH stigma around care homes and what they are like though that I wanted to celebrate some of the things I’ve consistently noticed in the care homes I love. The ones who make a big effort to make their environment as homely as possible, and therefore mean their residents have a great quality of life.

The Wrong Job

The Wrong Job

I was driving back from a session the other day and caught a programme on Radio 4 called ‘The Wrong Job’. It stemmed from the statistic that apparently 75% of people in the UK feel that they are in the wrong job, or hate their job. This struck a chord with me, and as I often do, I sat and listened to the end of the programme in my car, once I’d gotten home.

The Story of Join The Circle. Part 4: When I broke down, and how I built myself back up.

The Story of Join The Circle. Part 4: When I broke down, and how I built myself back up.

This might not seem strictly related to Join The Circle at first glance. But stay with me.

In September 2016 I had a mental breakdown and ended up being hospitalised. Warning. I'm going to get quite personal with my own experience so if that's not your thing or you might get a trigger from this kind of thing, it might be best to skip ahead to the next part.

The story of Join The Circle. Part 2: A flashback to my time working in a care home as an activity co-ordinator.

The story of Join The Circle. Part 2: A flashback to my time working in a care home as an activity co-ordinator.

Whilst I'd been working at The Brambles (the care home Rachel is the manager of) as an activity co-ordinator, I'd entered a competition with Dementia UK called 'Time For A Cuppa'. The idea was that your care home ran an event which raised money for Dementia UK and then documented this event. If you sent in details about your event you would be entered into a competition to win training for up to 10 staff to learn how to run 'Circle Dancing' sessions. We didn't really know what these were but FREE TRAINING!!

The story behind Join The Circle - Part 1: Where on earth did the idea of JTC come from?!

The story behind Join The Circle - Part 1: Where on earth did the idea of JTC come from?!

When I first started running sessions I was singing full time as part of an acoustic duo. My weekends were completely dominated by gigs - weddings, garden parties, birthdays, corporate dos - sometimes gigging up to 3 times a day! I'd been doing bits of volunteering on and off - working for a local charity in Southend called HARP, which does fantastic work with the homeless community. But I found that I could never stick to anything substantial because I had to keep taking paid jobs to live!

5 Reasons Why... working for yourself is waaaay better than working for anyone else!

On my Facebook page this week, I've been going Live every night, to discuss why being self-employed is the best. 

My business coach (yep! I have one of those and she's awesome!) tells me that going Live on my FB page is one of the best ways to let people see who I am. And I'll keep doing that as it's important to me that you know who I am - you're going to trust me to teach you how to run your own business - it's important you actually like me or you won't trust what I'm telling you! BUT if you're like me and you'd rather read a paragraph than watch a video, then scroll down passed the video to see what it was I was actually saying!